Boy Destroy's debut EP Warpaint is out now! We chat to the musician about the release and more.
Image: Olof Grind.
Swedish artist Boy Destroy has unveiled his long-awaited debut EP, Warpaint. Across the six tracks, the musician documents his own life, navigating themes of sex, sorrow, death, addiction, cheating, fighting, deception and dishonesty.
Influenced by 90s alternative rock which soundtracked his teens, as well as delving into legacy artists like Jeff Buckley and Joni Mitchell, Boy Destroy forges his own musical path, fusing together sonic influences of alt-pop, emo and trap. The result is a genre-bending collection of songs that showcases the musicians prowess as a songwriter.
In less than twelve months, Boy Destroy has carved out his own place within the industry, amassing a legion of fans worldwide with his honest and relatable approach to creating.
Warpaint is out now! Read our interview with Boy Destroy below.
Could you tell us a bit about how you began your musical journey, and your background in music?
The first song I ever wrote was called Dark Blue - it was about a nightmare I’d had about a creature following me through tunnels. I was probably… 8-10 years old? I started playing guitar very early but I didn’t get serious about wanting to absorb as much knowledge as possible until I was around 13 or something. Back then it was mostly indie and alternative bands that caught my eye, Smashing Pumpkins, Smiths, stuff like that.
Congratulations on the release of your debut EP, Warpaint! documents your own life, navigating themes of sex, sorrow, death, addiction, cheating, fighting, deception and dishonesty. How important was it to use your debut release as a vehicle to tell your own stories and represent these themes that are so relevant to many people?
Ayyyyyy thank you very much! This entire project was born out of me starting to tell that story in particular so it was quite important. Not to say that every song I’ll ever write will be about that stuff but I’ve got a lot of experience in those areas and have naturally gravitated towards them in the process of making this EP.
Were there any parts that you found particularly difficult when creating the record, being so personal and showcasing moments of your life to the world?
When I started putting words to the track Warpaint I was so scared I didn’t know what to do with myself. I’d been so ashamed of these really dark parts of my past and thought every person in my life would turn their back on me for telling it how it was. But quite the opposite turned out to be true. I don’t think I’ve ever received so much praise for anything as I have during these past few months.
Warpaint fuses together sonic influences of alt-pop, emo and trap. How did you arrive at your particular genre-bending sound?
They are all parts of me, you know. From the fuzz guitars of Smashing Pumpkins to the reverb laden vocals of Smiths and distorted, lo-fi, beats of cloud rap - it’s parts of me that naturally come out when I make my music sound the say I want it to.
The EP’s latest single, Beautiful Crimes, is our final taste of the EP before the complete collection of songs is out in the world. How do you think the three singles best represent the EP as a whole?
They paint a pretty accurate picture of this collection of songs, I’d say. Sound wise as well as the themes I talk about. But there are still a few surprises to discover if you listen to the songs that drop the 15th April. Some shoegaze, some untold stories of decadence and debauchery.
Throughout the EP’s rollout, we’ve seen some great visuals (images and videos). How important are the visuals to you when it comes to portraying the stories and themes present on the songs?
When we were putting together the visuals for the EP I got obsessed with this idea of being able to tell multiple stories at once. This permeated the entire visual identity I think. Visual media is still a relatively undiscovered area for me and I feel like a kid (in a good way) when I work on these idea with some truly fantastic directors.
How involved were you when it came to creating the visuals for Warpaint, You Don’t Want Me When I’m Sober and Beautiful Crimes? And what were your three favourite moments during filming?
For Warpaint - it’s gotta be that I got to ride the horse, Denzel, at four in the morning on a meadow inside a forest. I’ve never experienced anything like it before or after. I felt like a character from Game of Thrones or something, and me and Denzel got along really well.
Making Sober was really intense, it was like being on a movie set or something. First time for me getting to experience that kind of shooting. When we shot the scenes of me descending under the surface of the water (at the end of the video), one of the crew members fooled me and said that cut up pieces of a guy from a motorcycle gang had been discovered in that lake, two years prior. Haha, that really freaked me out but looking back on it I must say it was pretty funny the way some of us bought it.
Making Beautiful Crimes, I got to make out with my girlfriend, covered in vaseline, and that’s usually what we do Tuesday evenings anyway, so that felt pretty natural.
When it came to crafting this particular collection of songs, did you find yourself undertaking a particular creative process whilst writing? Or did each song have its own creative process?
Making Warpaint changed everything because I’d never been that honest in my music before. After that, every song was kind of like discovering parts of myself, once hidden, but finally resurfacing. Songs just kind of exist already - you just have to find them, know where to look.
How did the EP evolve and change as you were creating it, and were there any tracks left on the cutting room floor that you think might have a life in the future?
I’ve got a lot of new material that I’m very excited about releasing. Yeah, these six songs felt like a nice collection, but I’m exploring different stories, different genres, different everything, on some new ones. Can’t wait to drop them, wooo, les go.
If you had to pick one song off the EP to play to someone who has never heard you music to make them an instant die-hard fan, which three would you choose and why?
Probably You Don’t Want Me When I’m Sober. It feels like that’s the one that kind of boils down the main themes of the EP and puts them into one song. + it’s a total banger yo.
If Warpaint was a pre-existing piece of art, which artwork would it be and why?
Maybe the Michael Fassbender movie Shame. I feel like that movie deals with similar themes of addiction, shame (duh), fed up relationships - but also a longing for connection and a kernel of light. How good is that movie dude? Damn.
The current pandemic has obviously put a halt to touring and performing live, what are your touring plans post pandemic? And what can audiences expect from one of your live shows?
Right now, nothing is set in stone, but I’d love to come to Australia, the UK, the US - all over basically. Music, for me, is about connection and if you look close enough, we are all pretty much the same. Drops of water longing for the ocean.
Jeff Buckley, Dominic Fike, The Smashing Pumpkins, Lil Uzi Vert
Album that has had the most impact on you?
Grace by Jeff Buckley
How do you define your musical style in 3 words?
Real, real, real.
A release you’re most looking forward to in 2021?
Hmmm, is Dominic Fike releasing more music this year? If that’s the case then that.
If you could create the soundtrack for any film, which one would it be?
Leaving Las Vegas - but the soundtrack is already perfect.
Album you would listen to on repeat on a road trip?
Without You I’m Nothing - Placebo
Last concert you went to?
F… I don’t even remember…
If you were a Spice Girl, what would your spice nickname be?
Guilty music pleasure?
If you could support any artist on tour, who would it be?
An artist you think has had the most influence on the music industry.
What advice would your current self, give your future self, for a year from now?
The moment you knew you wanted to be a musician?
Seeing my dad with his Gibson SG, playing blues licks, when I was 8.